Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine

Excess Coffee May Be Linked To Early Death 220

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-enough-coffee-may-be-linked-to-early-morning-violence dept.
Mr.Intel writes "Should we believe it? Those of us under 55 who drink a lot of coffee – more than four cups per day – may be at greater risk of an early death. And not just death from heart problems, but death from all causes. The study, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings (abstract), followed people for almost two decades, and found that in both sexes, younger people were more likely to die of anything than people who drank less."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Excess Coffee May Be Linked To Early Death

Comments Filter:
  • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday August 16, 2013 @02:29PM (#44585945) Homepage Journal

    Must be spinning in his grave ... oh wait...

    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Friday August 16, 2013 @03:09PM (#44586413) Homepage Journal

      People who drink more coffee also have more sex.

      It's the sex that kills 'em off. But what a way to go! Buzzed and polished.

      • Re:Juan Valdez (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday August 16, 2013 @03:29PM (#44586713) Homepage Journal

        I should be dead, because I've been drinking a whole pot every day for over 40 years. But then, I'm in the middle of few Bell curves.

        Perhaps there's no causation behind this correlation? Perhaps what kills you isn't the coffee (like you said humorously) but substituting coffee for sleep? If a and b or correlated, sometimes the causative factor is c which triggers both a and b.

        I drink a lot of coffee, but I also sleep 7 to 9 hours a night. This needs further study.

        • Mea Culpa (Score:5, Funny)

          by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday August 16, 2013 @03:37PM (#44586823) Homepage Journal

          "If a and b or correlated"

          *facepalm* Someone slap me, I must need more coffee!

          • "If a and b or correlated"

            *facepalm* Someone slap me, I must need more coffee!

            And, there will be outliers that don't fit the pattern (or correlation) either, possibly you in this case. That doesn't mean that everyone or even a majority of cases will be like you! If there's one thing I learned during my chemotherapy for Hodgkin's is that everyone's body chemistry is different. Everyone! Just because a majority happen to die given the same dosage of the same drug doesn't mean everyone will, and just because one outlier doesn't die from the same dosage also doesn't mean everyone won't d

        • Yes, more study needed. Here's a correlation I bet they could prove: companies where employees go through company provided aspirin bottles rapidly have employees who die younger. We used to joke that the effort and often results from employees could be measured by the aspirin bottle, sort of like measuring coffee consumption.

          • by Vreejack (68778)

            In other news: doing something to excess might not be good for your health. Actually, that's not news; it's a tautology.

      • by temcat (873475)

        Hmm, I heard that coffee was bad for testosterone level? No idea if that's even remotely correct though.

  • eh (Score:4, Funny)

    by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Friday August 16, 2013 @02:30PM (#44585951)
    Good thing they invented Redbull
  • by Anonymous Coward

    if you are the kind of person who drinks that much coffee...

    anyway it's not clear that coffee is the problem

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday August 16, 2013 @02:31PM (#44585967) Journal

    Why would you even want that?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 16, 2013 @02:31PM (#44585973)

    Possible correlation to people who drink a lot of coffee and people who work crazy hours/lots of stress/not much sleep/eat poorly/etc..

    My excessive coffee drinking is a symptom of my shitty lifestyle.

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday August 16, 2013 @02:35PM (#44586033) Homepage Journal

      Possible correlation to people who drink a lot of coffee and people who work crazy hours/lots of stress/not much sleep/eat poorly/etc..

      My excessive coffee drinking is a symptom of my shitty lifestyle.

      I was a serious caffeine addict for the better part of a year, while putting in 14-16 hour days - yeah, I think the lack of sleep alone, plus the spice of stress, was doing quite a bit of damage. Now I only have a little now and then, preferring tea. Life is better.

    • by Sique (173459)
      And? No one ever said there was a causal connection between the two. Just a link - a co-relation, as you called it.

      And yes, there are many possible root causes for the link. One you already cited: Living excessive is connected to both early death without a dominant cause, and excessive consumation of certain products.

    • by liquidsin (398151)

      My excessive coffee drinking is a symptom of my shitty lifestyle.

      My excessive coffee drinking is the cause of my awesome lifestyle. You're doing something wrong.

    • by Khashishi (775369)

      I think that's at least partly causative. The coffee enables people to work the crazy hours.

    • Possible correlation to people who drink a lot of coffee and people who work crazy hours/lots of stress/not much sleep/eat poorly/etc..

      My excessive coffee drinking is a symptom of my shitty lifestyle.

      There probably is a strong correlation between younger people who drink a lot of coffee and have an unhealthy lifestyle. Supposedly the researcher corrected for smoking but not for things like too little sleep, too much stress, etc. (Been there. Done that.) If that describes you and you survive into your 50s, chances are that your lifestyle gets healthier but you still have the coffee habit and then the health benefits of coffee consumption kick in. (There now. Doing that.)

      I'm down to only about 5 mugs

    • You can drink a lot of coffee and work regular forty hour weeks and have a fifteen minute or less commute too. (I know half a dozen people like that.)

  • by skade88 (1750548) on Friday August 16, 2013 @02:32PM (#44585983)
    Death from all causes is the leading causes of death for people under 55.
  • by Skiron (735617) on Friday August 16, 2013 @02:33PM (#44586001) Homepage
    ...and doubt I ever have drunk 53 cups of coffee as I am English, and TEA is the way. So bring on 55 - (forget the fags I smoke and Beer I drink ;) )
    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday August 16, 2013 @03:05PM (#44586357)

      In American English your comment is very funny. You mention forgetting homosexuals, but you drink tea. I know what you meant, but man you are a bunch of Nancies.

  • .. of a lower incidence of prostrate cancer in anyone drinking more of anything, including coffee? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23702886 [nih.gov]
  • I only scanned TFA, and didn't see it. My guess is it's probably because people who drink 4+ cups of coffee also have other habits that are bad for their health. I typically drink 3 cups a day, but it wasn't unusual for me to drink a whole pot a day when I was younger. I also ate lots of junk food, was overweight and didn't exercise on a regular basis, and would get maybe 4 hours of sleep a night. I'm still overweight, but I've greatly reduced my junk food consumption & exercise on a regular basis now a
    • They looked at smoking. When they controlled for smoking the risk went down some.
      • by TheCarp (96830)

        As should be expected, smoking nicotine increase the rate at which the body eliminates caffiene, actually cuts the average plasma half life in half. This means smokers, who have a higher than average likelihood of early death, who drink coffee, can be heavier coffee drinkers easily.... leading to a bit of a selection bias if they didn't controll for it.

    • "However, after stratification based on age, younger (28 cups per week) and all-cause mortality after adjusting for potential confounders and fitness level (HR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.30-1.87 for men; and HR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.26-3.59 for women)."

      I believe the standard next step is to assert that they couldn't have possibly checked for all possible correlated variables, and hence all studies are meaningless. If you're into that sort of thing.

  • by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Friday August 16, 2013 @02:38PM (#44586073)
    Sometimes they say coffee is beneficial [slashdot.org] and helpful. [slashdot.org]
    Or even sometimes they say it actually lowers the risk of death. [slashdot.org]

    Other times they say it's horrible [slashdot.org] and should be avoided. [slashdot.org]
    Can you please make up your minds already? |:
    • by GLMDesigns (2044134) on Friday August 16, 2013 @03:09PM (#44586405) Homepage
      It's the inane hyperbole of science reporters that make the situation worse. Reporting and sensationalizing science news without taking things into context creates this yo-you effect. (As with most /.ers I did not RTFA so I'm assuming basic competence in the original study.)
    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      It's complicated. Different studies will factor different things depending on what they had in mind when they made the study. Sometimes you're trying to look at the direct impact of something, whereas other times you want to include things which are strongly correlated too In this instance, you could decide to correct for stress, for example, which would target coffee more specifically (ie. if there is a correlation between stress and coffee, then not correcting for it could mean the actual reason might be
    • Can't. The average idiot--in fact, the average scientist--is pretty simpleminded: it's like the news which has to present stark dichotomized positions on complex issues to get people to listen and follow and shout at one another and drive-up ratings (aka political speech). Grants would be threatened, careers (that only work by duping millions), nutritional "research" (poorly conducted correlational studies). Putting it another way: Mary Jane may make you really high or think "what's the deal"; coffee may ma
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      This reminds me of decades ago when I was poor and they decided butter was bad for you. The price of butter plummeted and the price of margarine shot up, which was a GOOD thing, as I love butter but couldn't afford it when it wasn't bad for you and I had to settle for (yech) margarine.

      Like the studies you point out, then it was margarine that was bad for you, but by then I was no longer poor and could afford butter.

      As to coffee, perhaps this will bring the price of coffee down, it's doubled in price in the

  • by tie_guy_matt (176397) on Friday August 16, 2013 @02:41PM (#44586127)

    Every good junk scientist knows that correlation always equals causality. I am a member of the junk scientists world club. We meet every year. Everyone flys to the west to get to our meeting so that no one will end up flying off the end of the earth. Correlation equals causality is thesis of every speach. So it can't be that people addicted to coffee might be more likely to be addicted to something else as well. If coffee is correlated to death then coffee must cause death!

  • As a guy who can drink 2L of coffee a day that is scary.
    • As a guy who can drink 2L of coffee a day that is scary.

      Like the Bruce Willis movie (spoiler alert), you're already dead!

  • They make this claim in the first paragraph and then spend the next four pages pointing out that they didn't check lifestyle, didn't distinguish caffeinated and decaff and that half a dozen other studies have shown health benefits of drinking coffee, and conclude by saying that health experts are not putting coffee on any lists for lack of hard evidence.

  • After so many studies lately that talk about the benefits of drinking at least two cups of coffee a day, it's nice to see a study come out that not only seems to refute this but assaults common sense. Drink a lot of coffee? Then you're more likely to die in an industrial accident. Then you're more likely to die in a shooting. Then you're more likely to did in an airplane crash! Drink a lot of coffee and your odor will apparently provoke more deadly shark attacks. Drink a lot of coffee and you're more likely
  • This study tells you nothing useful. How much more confounded can you be than with the lifestyle choices that associate with coffee drinking?

  • by tool462 (677306) on Friday August 16, 2013 @02:56PM (#44586265)
    I may have to repost my old comment in every coffee story that makes it to the front page. It always seems to apply. http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2899159&cid=40234945 [slashdot.org]

    It's not that caffeine causes us to die early, caffeine dilates time itself. We live a lifetime of productive bliss in only a few moments. Why else do non-coffee drinkers never appear to age? In what feels like 60 years for us, only a short time passes for them. They look younger because they are younger. But, they also live long enough to get Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer. In a twist of irony our lives are shorter but our years are longer. We looked to the internet for the Singularity, but we should have looked inside. The Singularity is us.

  • by OglinTatas (710589) on Friday August 16, 2013 @02:56PM (#44586273)

    Those who don't drink coffee are more likely to die in their sleep.

  • Excess leads to death. As if, yakknow, we all didn't know this already.

  • TFA says, "...may be at greater risk of an early death. And not just death from heart problems, but death from all causes..."

    This is obviously because people who drink more than four cups of coffee a day are awake and actually doing things. People who don't are sleeping their lives away, all safe and tucked away in bed. And except for that poor bastard in Florida who got eaten by the sink hole, remarkably few healthy people die while they're peacefully snoring away in their own bed.

    QE-frickin'-D.

  • Fuck that - life without coffee isn't really life, amiright?

    May as well ask me to give up bacon.

  • Two decades or so ago, I read an article in Scientific American that bascially said biological organs have a maximum "cycle duty". In other words, humming-bird hearts and human hearts get pretty much same number of beats before they wear out, but since their hearts beat 1260 times a minute [wikipedia.org] instead of 70, they only live 5 years [wikipedia.org] instead of 90.

    Now, this is clearly a simplistic view of anatomy. However, if he's onto something, then you'd expect people who regularly raise their heart rates (eg: with large dail

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      However, if he's onto something, then you'd expect people who regularly raise their heart rates (eg: with large daily caffine intakes), to live a bit shorter lives than everyone else on average.

      If that's the case than people who get a lot of exercise should die young. Note that this study said more folks died "of all causes". That suggests to me that it's the lack of sleep that does it; someone who gets 4 hours of sleep and drinks that coffee on the way to work is in some deadly danger (as are all the peopl

  • by LateArthurDent (1403947) on Friday August 16, 2013 @03:07PM (#44586379)

    As soon as I read the headline, I was reminded of an earlier slashdot article [slashdot.org] from last year.

    In the linked NIH study, drinking 3 or more cups of coffee a day was associated with a lower risk of death. From all causes. This study is probably a follow up to the earlier study, and they came to the opposite conclusion.

    Conclusion: not enough studies to change your daily habits one way or another. Obligatory xkcd [xkcd.com]

  • Since there is no legal "standard" coffee cup does the study define a cup? Could be anywhere from 5 ounces to 8 oz.

  • by Hartree (191324) on Friday August 16, 2013 @03:10PM (#44586421)

    Bad for those under 55 years old, huh?

    So, you're saying I only have to survive 4 more years until it starts being good for me?

  • (sip) It must be (sip) bad science (sip) or something (sip).
  • "has been linked to an early d....ACK, GAG" (thud).

  • "younger people were more likely to die of anything than people who drank less." ???

  • When Global Cooling seems imminent, they will determine that coffee reduces the incidences of heart attacks, cancer and stupid posts on Slashdot.

  • Those of us under 55 who drink a lot of coffee – more than four cups per day ...

    I'm a 48-year old card-carrying member of the Serious Coffee Drinkers of America. I drink my first four cups of coffee before I leave for work in the morning. My coffee cup at work is actually a travel mug, and it's never empty or contain cold coffee. I drink a full pot of coffee between dinner and bedtime. Most workdays, I drink 20-30 cups of coffee, easily. I cut back to only 10 cups or so per day on the weekends.

  • Life is gonna kill you.

  • Ok first, even though as about 20 people have posted "correlation does not equal causation", the authors are also aware of this and therefore control for many other things. So whenever you doubt the causual relationship claimed by a study, it's always good to actually read the paper.

    However in this case, the "correlation does not equal causation" crowd were right, and the authors even admit it

    Fourth, residual confounding may still exist even though we adjusted for all the potential confounders available

  • Excess [anything] May Be Linked To [something bad]

    That's why they call it "excess".

  • by gander666 (723553) *
    Meh. My coronary artery disease will likely be the cause of my demise

"Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberrys!" -- Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Working...